May 15th - Following our initial report, CBS News reported that the owner/occupant of the car in this story says the Model S was operating in Autopilot mode and that she was looking at her phone when the crash occurred.
"Did not brake prior to impact." This is starting to become the hallmark of Tesla crashes. In yet another example of $100K supercars slamming into trucks, a Model S has hit the back of a fire department vehicle. This time the crash is in Utah.
If this story sounds familiar, it is because a Tesla Model S slammed into the back of a firetruck on January 22nd. And a Tesla Model S slammed into the side of a truck on May 2, 2016. And a Model X slammed into a highway barrier just last month. Tesla says that all of those accidents involved its Autopilot system. Tesla has not said yet if the latest crash did.
Reports indicate that the Tesla Model S in the latest odd crash did not seem to slow or brake for a red light that the fire department vehicle was stopped at. South Jordan police Sgt. Samuel Winkler said Saturday, “Witnesses indicated the Tesla Model S did not brake prior to impact."
Tesla's autopilot is described by Tesla as a beta system. The term is derived from the term used to describe the second prototype of a given technical device. Why Tesla is allowed to operate a system that is not fully tested is unclear.
Tesla Model S Quick Facts:
The Model S is one of the few top-selling electric vehicles not to have earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick designation. Priced from roughly the high $70Ks to the mid $100Ks, the fastest version of the Model S can accelerate from 0-60 MPH in about 2.5 seconds. All-electric, the Model S was the first long-range battery electric vehicle on the market in the U.S.
Still image courtesy of Youtube and mobnews.